Following earlier reports of a secret screening of Ed Wood's once-lost pornographic comedy Take It Out In Trade which disturbed viewers who say they weren't warned about the film's content beforehand, another screening at Fantastic Fest has once again disturbed its audience. And this time, video was published on Fantastic Fest's own Facebook page.
The Square is a Swedish satirical film directed by Ruben Östlund and starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and Terry Notary. As the credits rolled after the Fantastic Fest screening, Notary, who is also a movement coach that has worked on creature and animal movements for films like the Planet of the Apes series, appeared to reenact a scene from the movie where a man acts like an ape at a fancy dinner at the museum the film is set in. As part of the performance, Notary walked around the room, stared and grunted at attendees, and appears to toss chairs around the room, knock over glasses, and and one point in the video seems to splash drinks on the audience.
A report from one attendee on Instagram, a pregnant woman, describes the scene:
Fantastic Fest has been embroiled in scandal this year, following a series of revelations about festival co-founder and Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League, Ain't It Cool News founder and Fantastic Fest co-founder Harry Knowles, and former Alamo Drafthouse employee Devin Faraci.
Faraci parted ways with Alamo in 2016 after a sexual assault allegation was made public, but was apparently quietly rehired by League soon after. When it was revealed that Faraci was still working for Alamo, Todd Brown resigned as director of international programming for the festival, and the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri pulled out of the festival. Knowles didn't attend the festival, and Ain't It Cool News dropped out as a sponsor, amid allegations that Knowles sexually assaulted a woman on several occasions at Alamo Drafthouse events. Additionally, the report claims that the woman, a longtime friend of Tim and Karrie League, informed the pair about the incidents and were told to just try to avoid Knowles. League co-founded Fantastic Fest with Knowles a few years afterward, in 2005. Knowles has "categorically" denied the allegations.
You can watch the video of the screening here. The scene from the movie is below:
UPDATE: Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League has provided Bleeding Cool with a statement about the various sexual assault and harassment allegations. League apologized to "the women we have let down" and said that Fantastic Fest is building a new board of directors as part of an effort to make Fantastic Fest "a safe and welcoming environment for all of our staff and guests." Read the full statement here.